ICDs are small devices which are implanted under the skin to prevent irregular heartbeats that may turn life threatening. These are typically used for individuals who have the higher risk of experiencing a cardiac arrest. Moreover these are also utilized to enhance the pumping ability of the heart in patients who have suffered from heart failure. ICDs are attached in the CRT-D (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillator) to resynchronize both ventricles’ contractions.

Listed below are various advancements in the technology of ICDs such as extended batteries, improved monitoring, and improved programming to provide for better pacing functions and further improve the heart condition of the patients wearing ICD device.

Reduced Size of the Device
A new model of ICD called Ilesto DX has been developed which reduces the size of the device by 15 percent and also has reduced the components of the device by 29 percent without compromising on its clinical or longevity features. This is the first of its kind system which offers complete information on atrial diagnostics with only a single defibrillator lead. This system also provides enhanced capability of monitoring as compared to previous device, without adding more leads.

ICDs made MRI-Safe
Various experts have estimated that around 60% of patients with implanted ICD may require MRI scan within the next ten years of getting the device implanted. Until the development of this new advancement, MR conditional ICDs, these patients were contraindicated to get MRI scans due to the interactions and disruption of ICD and MRI signals. However, MRI compatible devices are not developed in Europe and a few are awaiting FDA approvals in US.

Increased Battery Life
There has always been an issue of battery life in ICDs. Patients were required to go through surgeries after a few years just to get battery replacements for their ICD. However, new ICD devices are in the making with increased battery life which will prevent the infection risk and other associated complications that comes with regular replacements of battery. Moreover, this would also decrease the expenses of the ICD battery replacement surgeries.

Therapy Options Expands with Quadripolar Lead
Possibly the biggest advancement in ICD devices are the quadripolar lead ICDs. This leads utilizes four electrodes which offers increased programming options to overcome lead placement and pacing issues. This would assist in optimizing CRT-D therapy and reduces the lack of patient responses.

ICDs made MRI-Safe
Various experts have estimated that around 60% of patients with implanted ICD may require MRI scan within the next ten years of getting the device implanted. Until the development of this new advancement, MR conditional ICDs, these patients were contraindicated to get MRI scans due to the interactions and disruption of ICD and MRI signals. However, MRI compatible devices are not developed in Europe and a few are awaiting FDA approvals in US.

Increased Battery Life
There has always been an issue of battery life in ICDs. Patients were required to go through surgeries after a few years just to get battery replacements for their ICD. However, new ICD devices are in the making with increased battery life which will prevent the infection risk and other associated complications that comes with regular replacements of battery. Moreover, this would also decrease the expenses of the ICD battery replacement surgeries.

Therapy Options Expands with Quadripolar Lead
Possibly the biggest advancement in ICD devices are the quadripolar lead ICDs. This leads utilizes four electrodes which offers increased programming options to overcome lead placement and pacing issues. This would assist in optimizing CRT-D therapy and reduces the lack of patient responses.

ICD devices have been playing a major role in preventing life threatening situations and saving people’s lives. However, there had been certain drawbacks like the high impact of shock experienced by the patients. Fortunately, these issues are being addressed and gradually eliminated to offer more comfortable and improved functioning of ICDs. These major advancements in the ICD technologies will further enhance the benefits without compromising the quality of the devices.

There are other advancements that are most likely to be available in the near future which may include the reduction of shock, better pacing options, smaller sized generators for widespread adoption. The usage of these ICD devices is steadily growing, and newer developments in these devices, as well as monitoring of heart failure are also expected to rapidly increase with time.

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